Intellectual Property

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If you want an intellectual property (IP) law team that knows how to win anywhere in the world, puts your profitability at the top of its priorities and takes a shoulder-to-shoulder approach to client relationships, then Gowling WLG should be your first choice. Chambers refers to the team as "a quality operation ... there is no doubt that they are leading the field."

From multi-million pound disputes and billion pound deals to cost-capped litigation for SMEs in the IP courts, our starting point is looking at what you want to achieve and then setting out a strategy to find the best solution. A large experienced team taking a holistic, commercial approach guarantees a perfectly tailored solution for every client.

Sometimes a settlement will secure what you want. But, if necessary, this team will go all the way to achieve the right result. Our team has won cases in the ECJ (02 v 3G), Supreme Court (Zodiac v Virgin), the High Court (British Telecommunications plc (BT) for Californian client ASSIA,) and IPEC (Cobra UK in a dispute with BOS GmbH & Co. KG.)

Our cutting-edge work has won awards such as TMT team of the Year for Legal Business Awards and the British Legal Awards and Patent Contentious firm of the Year at the Managing Intellectual Property Awards. We have also won Design Firm of the Year at the Managing Intellectual Property EMEA Awards 2019. We offer:

  • Technical excellence - Academic attainments and earlier careers in biochemistry, physics, engineering, IT and microbiology means this team is more than a match for specialist technicians on the other side. Take Dr Luke Kempton who is commended for his "scientific understanding" in Legal 500. Four of India's fastest growing technology businesses have chosen this team as their lead adviser
  • Global coverage - Multi-jurisdictional coverage, with contacts around the world, means clients can be certain of a speedy and cost-effective approach. Global giants such as Aston Martin, Dyson, Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, Lundbeck and Hasbro turn to the team for expert advice on clearance, exploitation and enforcement of their IP rights. Members of the team are known for their thought leadership presentations at international conferences
  • A competitive edge - Whatever the challenge or opportunity, they have the experience and resource to offer the very best legal advice. As acknowledged by Legal 500 2014, this team "provides outstanding service at all times". Regular legal updates keep our clients and contacts at the forefront of intellectual property law developments.

Overturning 100 years of patent law

The team saved Zodiac Seats from a very substantial potential pay out in a six-year battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court and overturned 100 years of law in the process.

Michael England, instructing the firm, said: "The team's ingenuity and perseverance was instrumental in handling each legal challenge Virgin threw at us. The outcome speaks volumes about the team's commitment to win which saved us from paying out potentially many millions in damages."

Design infringement in China

Dyson, a client since 2000, was successful in its case against China-based manufacturer Yongkang Yixuan for design infringement relating to its Air Multiplier™ fan.

Gill Smith at Dyson said: "Dyson is a highly innovative company in both design and technology. Its intellectual property rights are key to its success, and Dyson has proven that it will enforce those rights wherever in the world they are infringed.

"China is a difficult jurisdiction, but with help and guidance from Gordon and his team we have had a string of successes, culminating in this first full trial win. We have more cases in hand or under investigation and we will pursue relentlessly those companies which flagrantly steal the fruits of Dyson's highly innovative engineers and scientists."

Business survival in David v Goliath battle

In a classic David v Goliath battle, the team helped Comic Enterprises Ltd, owner of the Glee Club comedy and music group, to secure a high-profile High Court victory against 20th Century Fox. The case concerned whether Fox's hit television series 'glee', a live show based on the series, DVDs and various glee-branded merchandise, infringed our client's UK registered trademark.

In its judgment, the High Court recognised the "likelihood of confusion", and the potential for customers to "believe there is a link" between the Glee Club and the TV show, and be discouraged from attending the Glee Club venues.

Mark Tughan, managing director of Comic Enterprises, said: "We are incredibly relieved and pleased with today's decision. We spent 15 years building up our Glee brand before the TV show was launched in the UK and the show has had a very damaging effect on our business. Potential customers wrongly assumed we were connected, and were being put off."

'Patent Box' tax relief

The UK's 'Patent Box' regime offers companies an attractive lower rate of UK corporation tax on worldwide profits earned from their patents and other qualifying IP rights. The effective rate of tax will gradually be reduced and, by 1 April 2017, will be as low as 10%.

You can benefit from the Patent Box if your company is liable to UK corporation tax and makes a profit from exploiting patented inventions. Our intellectual property and tax experts can assist you and your patent attorneys in making the most of the Patent Box. Please contact Dr Luke Kempton to find out more.

The Unified Patent Court

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is a brand new court system for owners of European Patents and Unitary Patents (UPs). With a single judgment, the court is able to determine validity and infringement of a patent across nearly all EU member states.

Gowling WLG's award winning patent litigation team draws on its extensive experience patent litigation in the UK, Germany, France and beyond to provide clients with comprehensive guidance as to the opportunities and challenges presented by this new court system.

To find out more, visit our UPC information hub.